Changing demographic, economic, social and political factors make it imperative to integrate limited English-speaking immigrants into our communities. Opportunities to learn English and contribute to society are key strategies for fostering integration. Through Project SHINE, our work focuses on helping immigrant elders prepare for citizenship, work, acquire health literacy skills, and engage in meaningful civic roles.
Every Tuesday morning I travel to Nationalities Senior Center in North Philadelphia hoping that I won’t be found out. While I walk the six blocks from the subway I compulsively feel inside my bag to ensure I have copies of my lesson for the day. A lesson plan, which I am sad to admit, I agonized over picking out.
Mobilizing college students from diverse disciplines and cultures to tutor older immigrants and refugees in basic English language skills, U.S. history, and civics needed to pass the naturalization exam.